President Hugo Chávez has used his decree powers to carry out a major overhaul of this country's intelligence agencies, provoking a fierce backlash here from human rights groups and legal scholars who say the measures will force citizens to inform on one another to avoid prison terms.The Chávez Authoritarian Checklist.
Under the new intelligence law, which took effect last week, Venezuela's two main intelligence services, the DISIP secret police and the DIM military intelligence agency, will be replaced with new agencies, the General Intelligence Office and General Counterintelligence Office, under the control of Chávez.
1. Create an external foe: Check
2. Breakup of political opposition: Check
3. Build up your military: Check
4. Nationalization: Check
5. Rule partially by decree: Check
6. Support terrorist groups: Check
7. Build a network of informants: Pending
8. Re-education camps: Soon to follow
9. Total rule by decree: Soon to follow
Venezuela: Cuba in waiting.
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